Savings for transformation a real lever for the empowerment of rural women
During the 2022 fiscal year, World Vision Mali has set itself the objective of "promoting the financial and social inclusion of communities through access to micro-credit and the practice of income-generating activities", in particular through savings groups for transformation (S4T) and the Network of Micro Institutions for Income Growth (RMCR).
As initially planned, in 2022, the dynamics of S4T groups enabled women members to save and access loans, thus helping to better strengthen their solidarity through the social fund. For other women, training on income-generating activities such as soap making and animal husbandry has enabled them to increase their income.
There are 224 savings groups in 2022 compared to only 90 when the program was set up in 2018. The sum of 138,603,895 FCFA was saved during this fiscal year, thus directly affecting more than 18,000 children in households.
“Thanks to savings activities, I can take care of my children’s education, health care, clothes and also help my husband with food. After sharing the gains, I bought a sheep at 48,38 $ US three months later I sold it at 113 &$ US during the tabaski festival, ”says Diowori, a woman from the Diéma Savings Group.
Today, World Vision Mali has nearly 972 savings groups throughout the territory with more than 642$ US saved. Savings for transformation (S4T) is a real factor in the empowerment of women, especially rural women.
“With our savings group, we created a traditional soap making unit cooperative. If we were 25 women at the start, today we are 60 women from different strata: widows, married, single mothers and young girls. This not only allows all the women members to buy soap at a lower cost and, thanks to the sale, to meet the needs of their families,” explains Dado, president of the women of the Saniya cooperative.
The monitoring of sponsored children and the resources mobilized by women members of savings and credit groups have improved the living conditions of children in the program intervention areas. Economic development activities have contributed to household well-being through increased assets, consumption and various incomes.
World Vision Mali operationalizes economic development mainly through model projects for the happiness of Malian families. And the “engine” of this winning initiative for the communities remains the “Woman”. Like this example in the village of Dababougou, where World Vision had to build a drinking water supply. The women in the savings groups were able to mobilize half of the community share when the sum collected by the men was insufficient:
"To relieve the village and above all to help our husbands, we, women of the three Dababougou processing groups, have made a financial contribution of 484 $ US to help with the construction of our borehole.. All this thanks to savings activities’’ said Madame Diarra, president of the women of Dababougou.
The S4T program, which is reaping increasingly convincing results in the field, cannot stop there. Also, prospects are underway to continue to make savings for processing, a real tool for the empowerment of Malian women:
• Capacity building of S4T groups through financial education;
• Collaboration with the Network of Micro Institutions for Income Growth (RMCR) in order to increase the credit funds of S4T groups;
• Strengthening the integration of S4T groups in the agricultural sector, in particular through the FMNR model project.